Menu Plan Monday ~ April 8, 2024 (2024)

Menu Plan Monday ~ April 8, 2024 (1)

My Frugal Week

I inventoried my pantry again this week as I've been using up a lot of what we have on hand, and my previous numbers were off, so now it has been updated.

Recipe of the Week

The Blue Zones are seven areas in the world where people live very long and healthy lives and part of that is the diet they've eaten over the years. Here is one such recipe for Sardinia Minestrone, which you can find on their website here.

I made my own version of this on Sunday and it made sixteen cups worth of soup, so I'll have plenty for lunches this week and even some to put in the freezer.

Sardinia Minestrone


1⁄2 cup dried fava beans

1⁄2 cup dried cranberry beans

1⁄3 cup dried chickpeas

7 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil

1 medium yellow or white onion, chopped (about 1 cup)

2 medium carrots, peeled and chopped (about 2⁄3 cup)

4 medium celery stalks, chopped

2 teaspoons minced garlic

1 (28-ounce) can crushed tomatoes

3 medium yellow potatoes, peeled and diced (about 11⁄2 cups)

1 1⁄2 cups chopped fennel or 2 tablespoons fennel seed

1⁄4 cup loosely packed fresh Italian flat-leaf parsley leaves, chopped 2 tablespoons

chopped fresh basil leaves

2⁄3 cup of Sardinian fregula, Israeli couscous, or acini di pepe pasta

1⁄2 teaspoon salt

1⁄2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper

1⁄4 cup finely grated pecorino Romano (about 2 ounces)


Soak the fava beans, cranberry beans, and chickpeas in a large bowl of water for at least 8 hours or up to 16 hours (that is, overnight).

Drain in a colander set in the sink. Rinse well.

Warm 3 tablespoons of the olive oil in a large soup pot or Dutch oven set over medium-high heat.

Add the onion, carrots, and celery; cook, stirring often, until soft but not browned, about 5 minutes.

Add the garlic and cook until fragrant, about 20 seconds.

Stir in the tomatoes, potatoes, fennel, parsley, and basil, as well as the drained beans and chickpeas.

Add enough water (6 to 8 cups) so that everything is submerged by 1 inch.

Raise the heat to high and bring to a full boil.

Reduce the heat to low and simmer slowly, uncovered, until the beans are tender, adding more water as necessary if the mixture gets too thick, about 1 1⁄2 hours.

Stir in the pasta, salt, and pepper.

Add up to 2 cups water if the soup seems too dry.

Continue simmering, uncovered, until the pasta is tender, about 10 minutes.

Pour 1 tablespoon of olive oil into each off our serving bowls.

Divide the soup among them and top each with 1 tablespoon of the grated cheese.

Tip: You can vary the beans in the minestrone: pinto beans make a good substitute for cranberry beans; great northern or cannellini beans, for the favas.

Tip: Use the stalks and fronds that come off a fennel bulb for the most intense flavor. No feathery fronds on the bulb? Add a teaspoon of fennel seeds to the aromatic vegetables you sauté to begin the dish.

Tip: Add other fresh vegetables from the garden or market, such as zucchini, cabbage, green beans, and cauliflower or broccoli florets.

Tip: Want a stronger tomato taste? Stir in a tablespoon or two of tomato paste.

Photo of the Week

What’s for Dinner

Menu Plan Monday ~ April 8, 2024 (2)

Monday~ I took ground chuck out of the freezer to thaw and gathered up cans of beans and tomatoes to make chili for dinner tonight and for the next few days. I had so many different varieties of beans and tomatoes, so decided to use them up and make a big pot of chili.

I ended up with enough chil that I was able to put eight bowls (2 cups each) into the freezer.

Tuesday~ This is movie night for Bailey, so she had BBQ Chicken Pizza while I had a simple bowl of chili. Even though I enjoy being in the kitchen, I do enjoy days when I don't need to cook too.

Wednesday~ Chili

Thursday~ Dirty Rice, Potato Salad, and Coleslaw.

Friday~ Macaroni & Cheese, Steamed Broccoli.

Saturday~ Fish, Butternut Squash, Brussel Sprouts.

Sunday~Sardinia Minestrone was made for lunch, but I also made BBQ Pork Ribs, and served that with Green Beans and Onions for dinner.

What’s on the Menu for This Coming Week

We have plenty of ground beef, fish, chicken, and pork on hand to make meals this week. I'll probably make salmon patties, pulled pork, chicken fajitas, and tacos.

What’s been on the menu in your home this past week?

Menu Plan Monday ~ April 8, 2024 (3)


Homemaker at Heart

Mortgage & Debt Free
~ Living within our Means ~
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~ She looketh well to the ways of her household ~
Proverbs 31:27

Menu Plan Monday ~ April 8, 2024 (4)

Menu Plan Monday ~ April 8, 2024 (2024)


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